German Tax System for International Students


Written by Germany Simplified

February 13, 2021

Know everything about German Tax System. Tax is an important aspect to focus on if you are planning to settle down in Germany any time soon. Whether you are planning to go there as a student, an employee or a spouse, it is important to acknowledge how the tax system in Germany works.

Everybody living in Germany is liable to pay tax in some or the other way. This is applicable only for people who have entered the coveted German workforce and earn money on account of the work they offer. German tax system for international students also comes with its own share of tax payment. International students in Germany are liable to pay tax to the government too.

Germans are a little generous with in house and international students when it comes to paying income tax in Germany. Tax slabs in Germany are relatively less harsh on students compared to other working personnel in Germany the state understands that it is difficult for students to work alongside studying and making big bucks is not possible. This is why, the German Government allows students a relaxed amount of taxes to be paid. In this article, we will talk about the various things to know about banking in Germany. Read the article further to know more.

How German Tax System for International Students works in Germany?

Students either have to pay a small amount of money as tax or do not have to pay anything at all. It is very important for every student to file for a tax return so that they can claim for a refund that they are eligible for. This is an important step for all German international students to take or else they will be forced to pay heavy taxes.

The German financial year runs from the 1st of January to the 31st of December every year. The deadline for filing taxes for the year is technically during the month of May of the next year. The dates may var so every student needs to be alert when it is time to file taxes.

A student can ask for an extension if they are unable to file a tax return on time but the student is liable to pay a charge as penalty. This is how the tax system for international students works in Germany.

Important things to Know About Filing Income Tax in Germany

  1. Always make sure to file your tax returns at the local tax office near your area. It is very important to file income tax in Germany at a place which is close to your residence in Germany.
  2. Another important thing to remember about the tax system in Germany is that the financial year begins on the 1st of January and lasts up to the 31st of December. This is one of the most important things to know about banking in Germany.
  3. International and national students always have to be up to date with the changing tax policies in Germany. Moreover, they need to be certain about what date they file their tax returns so that they can get exempted from paying income tax.

How Much Tax do International Students have to Pay in Germany?

The amount of tax every international student has to pay to the German Government entirely depends upon their income. If they earn a huge amount f money, they are liable to pay a high amount of income tax whereas if they do not earn too much money, they are allowed to not pay a high income tax. However, this entirely depends on how much the international student earns.

  • If you are someone who earns less than or up to 450 Euros each month, you are not liable to pay any income tax.
  • Earnings in Germany are subject to basic tax allowance and your income would not be taxed up to that allowance. Tax slabs in Germany work this way.
  • The allowance is roughly about 18,336 Euros for couples who are in a civil partnership or married by law.
  • The rate of taxes that an international student is liable to pay in Germany varies from 14 % to 45%. This depends on how much the international student earns.
  • The higher the rate of income that is taxable the higher the rate of taxation there would be. An international student in Germany is going to be judged on the rate of income for paying income tax in Germany.

The Process of Filing Income Tax Returns for International Students in Germany

The basic norm for international students who earn an income in Germany is that they need to file a tax return at the end of a financial year. Normally, employers deduct the tax amount from the wages given to the employee and transfer it to the tax office. This is how the tax system in Germany works. This is a norm for an average employee in Germany.

The process of filing income tax returns for international students in Germany goes as follows: –


  • Every international student needs to collect the forms for tax declaration at the tax office.
  • They can download the tax declaration form from the website of the tax office too. It is a very easy and convenient way to complete the procedure.
  • Next, fill in all the required details and submit the income tax declaration at the tax office. Make sure to not make any mistakes.
  • Clearly mention the details of your income and all the charges you’ve paid to the government. This will help in choosing the bracket you fall in.



Knowing the tax system in Germany is very crucial for someone who is planning to pursue further education in Germany.

Read more about Things to Know About Banking in Germany.





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